Reform? Yes! All Of It? No.

Checker Finn turns in an interesting look  at  (building on some of the questions BW’s Andy Smarick has asked) quantitative versus qualitative considerations when it comes to closing schools.  It’s something of a parallel to the BW “Hangover” paper on teacher evaluations.  Based on a lot of ongoing conversations it seems like there is a constituency with great urgency for reform, but also leery of some aspects of what’s happening. That’s natural (and positive) in any change effort like this, but given the tenor and alignment of the education debate there is really nowhere for this constituency to get traction right now.

3 Replies to “Reform? Yes! All Of It? No.”

  1. Humor brings smiles to grim faces. – Mountain Man Insight

    Here is a wild story about dismissing ALL the teachers, and closing ALL the schools in a major urban school district. Education Termination will catch the attention of bystanders who are currently not paying attention to what is happening with our schools. Eduation Termination

  2. “Charters are often viewed as more accountable, because if the school does not meet its academic goals, its charter can be revoked. From a leadership perspective, these reforms propel the kind of change that will help more students succeed….” Who are you kidding? Seriously.

    I read this

    To say I am appalled is to understate my reaction by many factors of ten. Allow me to summarize: present student testing and teacher accountability measures are problematic; segue to Common Core solutions to present efforts. Wait, already teachers and students are being judged by insufficient metrics you all in the reform world imposed on us. And now you want to change the rules yet again and in so doing admit that your past efforts were basically crap??

    “But have we swung too far in the opposite direction? As least as perplexing, do we have—or can we create—additional metrics that tap into these other features of schools and teachers in valid ways, avoiding total subjectivity, favoritism, and caprice?” Hey, it would help if you just stopped with all the rhetorical questions that pose as substantive knowledge inquiries.

  3. Stupidity from Andy (Smarick):

    Andy Smarick, the reformy former #2 at the NJDOE, tells us we should be very, very worried about one of the best performing state-level school systems in the nation:
    New Jersey just released new report cards for all schools in the state. The information now available, including indicators of college- and career-readiness and excellent “peer school” comparisons, is invaluable. And it is deeply discomfiting for many of the state’s complacent schools and districts.
    While the reports reinforce just how tragically low-performing the state’s urban districts are, they also show that the preening of many leafy suburban communities is unwarranted. Said state commissioner Chris Cerf, this data “will make clear that there are a number of schools out there that perhaps are a little bit too satisfied with how they are doing when compared with how other schools serving similar populations are doing.”
    In other words, lots of schools and districts brag about their AP and IB programs, graduation rates, and so forth. But when you look at their AP passage rates and SAT scores, you quickly see that things aren’t so rosy. Far fewer kids than thought are truly prepared for post-secondary work.

    “Than thought” by whom, Andy? You? Cerf? Or the 9 out of 10 parents who say they are satisfied with their local public schools? Have they all been conned, Andy? Are they all too stupid to see how awful their kids’ schools are – which is why the NJDOE had to rush out these reports shrouded in mystery? To prove to parents that, contrary to their own beliefs, their own children are dolts?
    Then when you compare some of these contented schools to other schools serving student bodies with similar demographics, you see that they are actually significantly underperforming their peers.

    It’s great to see the Andies of the world looking out for the rubes and proles.

    How To Create a Non-Existent Crisis: NJ’s School Performance Reports

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